In a bid to hold its own in the ever-crowded streaming market, ViacomCBS has taken an entirely new approach, complete with a rebrand and robust plan for the future of its content, Variety reports.
The executive team, led by Shari Redstone and Bob Bakish, announced the transformation at a nearly three-hour-long virtual presentation to investors. Now, not only will ViacomCBS be known as Paramount, but it will also focus on streaming growth opportunities like never before. Paramount’s strength, Bakish told Variety, lies in its well-balanced offerings: premium subscription services like Paramount Plus and Showtime; content engines in Paramount Pictures, CBS, MTV Entertainment; and the proliferating ad-backed channels on its Pluto TV free streaming-channel platform.
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Executives across the company’s many divisions laid out Paramount’s new “holistic approach,” which includes putting most (if not all) of its content on Paramount Plus. Additionally, the company plans to focus on the creation of new content. On Tuesday, Paramount’s six content executives presented ambitious projects with an eye on the long term — from George Cheeks generating excitement for NCIS: Sydney to Chris McCarthy describing the success of Yellowstone prequel 1883.
The significant change comes after the company spent years clinging to basic cable TV and the old models that had always supported it. Now, the company is willing to put the money where it matters to reach a set of lofty targets: reaching 100 million global direct-to-consumer subscribers by 2024 (up from the 65-75 million previously predicted) and increasing DTC revenue to $9 billion by that same year (up from the $6 billion forecast). “What we’re seeing is a model that is working significantly better than we projected,” Bakish told Variety. “We saw that most recently in the fourth quarter with growth on the pay side and the free side.”
ViacomCBS’s rebrand to Paramount also plays a critical role in the company’s DTC strategy; it’s a means of upping the branding’s consumer-benefit value. What’s more, when the executives broached the name change with the board, the response was overwhelmingly supportive: “Why wouldn’t you do this?”
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Paramount Group Inc stock was up 1.56% as of 10:15 a.m. EST.